Juniper Certification Tracks and Exams: How do they compare to Cisco?
Yesterday’s post was about Juniper Networks, a company that pays the highest salary to software engineers. Juniper Networks is a great company to work for. It also offers IT Certification tracks that validate your skills and knowledge of Juniper routing, switching technology. This includes Junos, their own operation system which runs on most Juniper equipment. This is a major competitive advantage Juniper has over Cisco. Juniper Networks is less popular than its main competitor but it offers high quality products and a stable market share. Its reputation for high-quality certifications is growing, giving IT professionals the opportunity to move in a less crowded field with high potential.
If you are interested in pursuing Juniper certification, have a look at their track record:
What do we see? Juniper used to break down their tracks into two groups: Junos-focused tracks and tracks that focused on the company’s Products and Technology. Juniper recently added a Support Specialist track that offers 3 certifications at the Professional level (hence the difficulty).
Here’s a quick explanation of the levels
Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate (JNCIA). This certification validates candidates’ basic knowledge of Internet technology, platform configuration and troubleshooting skills. It also validates their ability to use Juniper’s solutions. JNCIA certification is required to take some JNCIS-level written exams.
Juniper Networks Certified Internet Specialist (JNCIS), certification provides deeper knowledge and understanding of Juniper products as well as the design principles and Internet technologies candidates need to be comfortable at Specialist level. The JNCIS written exam is required to take the JNCIP-level exam.
Juniper Networks Certified Internet Professional certification (JNCIP), validates your ability configure and troubleshoot common network scenarios. These written exams test candidates on a wide range of topics, including Juniper’s technology, Junos OS and general aspects of internet technology. To take the JNCIE-level lab exam, you must pass the JNCIP exam.
Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert (JNCIE), is the highest level certification in the Juniper Networks Certification Program. You will need to have passed the lab-based exam and completed the previous levels in order to become certified.
What about the exams?
Although you can find information about all tracks, including prerequisites and exams, it is worth noting that Juniper also offers a wide range of preparation materials, reading list and guides all available on their website.
Many people want to know the answer to a large question: How do Juniper exams compare with Cisco exams? Are they more difficult? Trickier? It’s a bit more complicated? Both have their ups and downs.
Juniper exams, like Cisco, are not easy. You must be prepared and have a solid understanding of the technology in order to reach the Associate level. This is similar to the CCNA Routing and Switching certification, which does not require any prerequisites. However, you will need to have a lot of background and be able to understand a lot of concepts.
Juniper claims it is a written exam. It is a multiple-choice written exam. There are no Cisco-style simulations or drag & drops questions. Juniper exams are more susceptible to brain dumps and other ‘exam preparation’ stuff online. This is a good thing! D